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BERKELEY, CA.  Thousands of former users of the progressive website DailyKos have suddenly bolted from the site as an Autoplay in a Diary posted by the site's owner continues to play continuously, disrupting users' work and home schedules. Hundreds of advertisers are re-thinking their decision to run ads on the site as the number of page views has diminished dramatically over the last twelve hours.

"I can't turn it off, it's horrible" said one user. "I tried to mute it on my desktop at work but now I can't hear my incoming message notifications. My job is at stake here--I have to decide between DailyKos and feeding my kids."

Another user ruefully noted: "I was on the train and switched on my smartphone. Suddenly I heard dogs barking. It took me ten minutes to determine what the problem was, all the while people looking at me like I'm some sort of criminal. I'll never go on that website again."

One user was led away, sobbing: "They told me I could just turn it off, but everytime I refresh the damn page it comes back!"

Efforts to reach the site administrators have proved unavailing. The site's spokesmen are aware of the problem but so far are unable to provide a permanent fix.

The apparent imminent demise of DailyKos. the country's most popular Democratic website, comes at a particularly hard time for the Democratic Party that is struggling to maintain its Senate Majority. A spokesman for Senator Charles Schumer, who heads up the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was particularly gloomy.

"We rely a great deal on ActBlue and other funding encouraged and aided by  progressive activists on DailyKos.  This Autoplay issue may be the difference between a Reid Senate and a McConnell Senate in 2014."

Others have flocked to alternative sites such as the Democratic Underground and FireDogLake. Some users have even renounced their Democratic Party allegiance and gone over to Redstate.

Erick Erickson, flanked by Jane Hamsher, were interviewed this morning. Both have big grins on their faces.

"Look," said Erickson, "we're not turning anyone away at this point. Also, Jane and I are considering forming a new site catering to disaffected Democratic "refugees" from Markos' failed enterprise.  We've already been contacted by numerous advertisers from the Kos site who are complaining that their bottom lines can't withstand the traffic loss."

It remains to be seen whether the site's Administration will be able to correct the problem, which appears to have a rather simple fix--deleting the offending autoplay video. But for many aggrieved DailyKos users, it may be too late.

UPDATE: It appears that the problem has now been corrected, leading to a general wave of relief as users try to sort out their feelings from the experience.

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